A Journey for Food

A grandfather’s 200-kilometre cycle journey with his 5-year old grandson fighting cancer during COVID-19. 

Ayush was diagnosed with a common type of kidney cancer called Wilms’ Tumour and has been under treatment since December 2019 at our partner hospital, Homi Bhabha Cancer Centre (HBCC), Varanasi. Born into a family of migrants from Gazipur in Uttar Pradesh, Ayush’s father is a daily wage labourer. Since his treatment, Ayush has been under the care and counsel of Niqhat Rizvi, our Nutritionist at HBCC. While Niqhat has been planning his diet and closely monitoring his recovery, she also supplies him his monthly ration bundle full of groceries. The monthly ration ensures that even when Ayush is back home after his chemotherapy, he gets the food he needs to heal faster.

When the lockdown was first announced, Ayush’s dadaji and family were worried that they might not be able to meet his nutritional requirement while locked in Ghazipur. How were they to reach the hospital? With no transport available, his grandfather decided to ride Ayush to the hospital himself. Only, this is a 200-kilometre journey, on a bicycle and the March-heat of UP didn’t make matters easy! But with Ayush riding pillion, his Dadaji was determined to get him to the hospital. He had to ensure that if the lockdown were an indefinite one, they had to be close to the source of two things they need the most – treatment for Ayush at the hospital and the food he needs to keep him nourished. 

It took them 48-hours to reach HBCC in Varanasi. During their time in Varanasi, Niqhat made sure that Ayush received all the food and care he needed, while the doctors got into action to complete his treatment. 5-year-old Ayush is currently under maintenance, and back home in Ghazipur, due for a visit any time soon.

Your support helps us provide kids like Ayush with Nutritionists, supplements, eggs, bananas, milk and lassi during the course of their treatment.

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